Which countries have the longest life expectancy? Bar charts work well for this kind of data because (1) the bars are easy to compare and (2) there is plenty of room for labels on the vertical axis.

Here is the data used to plot this chart:

Data used to create life expectancy chart

How to make this chart

  1. Hold down control key and select ranges as shown above
  2. Click the insert column icon at Insert > charts
    Insert > column chart via ribbon
  3. Select the first 2d option
    Select first 2d bar chart
  4. The chart as inserted
    Initial bar chart as inserted
  5. Select vertical axis; reverse sort order and set interval to 1
    Select axis and reverse sort order
  6. Add data Labels
    Add data labels
  7. Select data series and set bar width
    Set series overlap and gap width
  8. Select and delete gridlines
  9. Select and delete horizontal axis
  10. Set title as desired
  11. Final chart after changes
    Final bar chart after changes


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AuthorMicrosoft Most Valuable Professional Award

Dave Bruns

Hi - I'm Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.